Don’t wait until the last minute to plan for your college expenses. 

There are certain processing periods, especially for federal financial aid, and scholarship deadlines.  The 2023-24 tuition is $210 per credit hour for in state students, and $215 for out of state, online and international students.  A full-time resident student taking 12 credit hours pays $2520 per semester plus books.  Compare this to other colleges and you’ll quickly see how affordable a quality education at SCC can be.

Viewing and paying your tuition

To view your account summary, click on “Student Finance” from Self Service on your Hawknet account.  You may pay for your tuition via credit card or sign up for a payment plan.  You may also pay in-person on campus with cash, check or credit card; by mail with a check. International students can make payments using Flywire.

What's a FAFSA?

Paying for a college education is a concern for nearly every student and family.  We encourage all US citizens and permanent residents to apply for federal financial aid at  The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a free application that will determine whether you are eligible to receive federal financial assistance. 

When applying online, you (if applicable, your parents too) must have a Federal Student Aid Account (FSA ID). This is a user name and password you will create in order to "sign" the FAFSA electronically. The FAFSA on the web will walk you right through the process.  Once you have returned the completed forms to SCC’s Financial Aid Office, we can then determine your eligibility for financial aid and e-mail you a notice that your award letter is ready to be viewed on Self Service in your Hawknet account.


  • You're going to need your tax returns. Have them on hand before you start
  • Depending on your situation, you may need your parent's information and their tax returns.
  • Don't forget to add SCC's school code 004603 when asked. This code is applicable to all SCC locations.
    • The first "F" in FAFSA stands for FREE!
    • Never pay for FAFSA or even scholarship information. The Financial Aid Office is here to provide a free service to you.

SCC has a person dedicated to helping students navigate the FAFSA and other college prep steps - regardless of what college you choose to attend. Visit our Student Success Center and ask for our Outreach Advisor & Coordinator or you can always stop by the Financial Aid Office.

Special Circumstances

The federal government's method of applying for financial aid is not perfect, but it's the only system they have. You must apply according to the government's rules. However, there are some circumstances that have caused a dramatic change in a student's ability to afford to go to college. Those are called "special circumstances." Examples include a death in the family or a loss of a job. If you feel you have a special circumstance, please contact the Financial Aid Office after you have applied for financial aid.

Types of Financial Aid

There are four main types of financial aid, all with different characteristics, sources, functions, and rules.

  • Grants
  • Student Loans
  • Work-Study
  •  Scholarships


A grant is free money – no kidding!

There are several types of grants. Some are provided by the federal government, while others are provided by the state in which you officially reside. The most common federal grants are PELL Grants and SEOG Grants.  State grants such as Iowa Vocational-Tech Grant, Kibbie Grants, and Last-Dollar Scholarship are available to Iowans enrolled in select health and technical programs.

Student Loans

A Federal Direct Loan is a type of aid you can use to pay for your college expenses. The loan is guaranteed by the federal government. Basically, you borrow the money while you're in school and pay it back after you've graduated or dropped below half-time enrollment.

There are two different types of Federal Direct Loans:

  • Subsidized: The government pays the interest while you're in college.
  • Unsubsidized: Interest is charged on the loan while you're in college.

If you qualify, your financial aid offer will indicate how much you could borrow for a particular academic year. Borrowing too much money can be a big problem for many students. Remember, you can borrow a lesser amount than what is indicated.

Before you borrow, it's important ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I created a budget?
  • Do I need to borrow?
  • Am I using the loan for school purposes?
  • What's my plan to pay back the loan?

If you're thinking about a student loan, remember that you'll have to repay what you borrow. You'll have a six-month grace period after graduating or dropping below half-time enrollment before your loan will go into repayment (you have to start paying it back).


Need a job while you're in school?

The Work-Study program allows qualified students to work certain jobs to earn money to pay for school expenses.  Students are paid twice a month. In order to qualify, you must apply and be eligible for financial aid.

Contact the financial aid office if interested and to view available jobs.


Everyone should consider applying for scholarships – it is free money! 

SCC students have access to two types of scholarships: SCC Foundation scholarships and external scholarships.

SCC Foundation Scholarships

Our SCC Foundation awards hundreds of scholarships each year. We make applying for SCC scholarships easy. You only have to apply once and the right SCC scholarship will find you!

Learn more about SCC Foundation Scholarships on our website under Paying for College/Scholarships.

External scholarships

External scholarships come from a variety of sources not affiliated with SCC. They're another great option to find money to pay for your education. Check our external scholarships page under Paying for College/Scholarships on our website for a list of scholarships along with details and application info.

Tips for applying

Be sure to check out the handy guide on our scholarships webpage for how to write essays, request references, and other bits of advice to boost your chances of winning that big scholarship!

Next stop: Student's Right to Know & FAQ